Tubing in Belize
Belize Cave Tubing is definitely an activity or tour that is unique to Belize and it is an incredible opportunity to explore the natural beauty of Belize. It has definitely become one of the most popular excursions in Belize, particularly for cruise ship passengers visiting Belize City. There a a two main location where cave tubing is offered in Belize but for cruise ship day trips the only accessible location is off of the Belize Western Highway at mile 37.
To prepare for your excursion you will need to change into a pair of water shoes, old running shoes or strap on sandals. There are water shoes available for rent but keep in mind they have all been worn by other people and its uncertain if they have been cleaned in any way. You will also be issued an inner tube that you will carry with you to the cave and river entrance. All of your belongings will be left in the vans and I recommend that you take a last drink of water before you start your Jungle walk. Additionally, you will be issued life vests if you wish. Keep in mind that on some days you will be required to take a vest with you if the Belize Park Officials say it is mandatory.
Your Belizean Cave Tubing adventure begins as you turn off and drive south towards the Sibun River Caves Branch. After a 10-15 minute drive on a bumpy road you will arrive at the Cave Tubing Park. This is the starting point for the rainforest walk to the river and cave entrance.
Along Rainforest walk you will cross the Sibun to get to the main path on the far side of this vital Belizean River. There is a rope to aid you as you cross and guide to help you if required. Most of the time the crossing is fairly easy but it can be a little challenging when the river water levels are high. You will also walk through dry caves where you are able to observe sleeping bats and see the magnificent cave structure from close up.
Along the rainforest trail there are many plants to observe and our guides will stop and take the time to explain the natural pharmaceutical properties of many of these plant. There are many beautiful plants and historical trees along the trail, you feel as though Tarzan might swing by at any moment or a Jaguar might leap out along the trail. It's definitely an educational adventure into the rainforest of Belize.
After about 30 minutes you will come to the first entrance to the Sibun river and the caves. This is the entrance utilized by most of the tour companies including the cruise ship tours. To access this entrance you will go the stairs to the bank of the river.
If you are on the X-Stream Cave Tubing excursion you will proceed further down the rainforest path for another 10-15 minutes which will bring you to another entrance into the river. This addition walk allows you to venture into an additional caving system. This location is accessible two ways. You can either take the extreme plunge and jump off of the rocks for a 12 ft drop to the river below or you can enter the regular way which is only a 1 ft drop from the river bank.
Before you enter the water, you will be issued a miners light that you will wear on your head as you enter the caves. Don't turn it on too soon, you want to save the batteries so they function when you are in the depths of the caves!
Once everyone is in their tubes the river cave tubing part of your Belizean adventure begin. Lean back in your tube and gently paddle to move around and link up with your friends and family. There is no rush, this is an enjoyable exploration. Passing from the light to the darkness take in the wondrous beauty of the cave. The Ancient Mayans believed that these caves were the entrance to the underworld and were greatly revered. To hear all about these caves make sure to stay close your X-Stream Cave Tubing Guide as they are experts on the caves of Belize.
Don't forget to switch on your light so you can really have a good look around at the cave formation. For those of you who are considering this excursion and may be claustrophobic you really do not feel enclosed as the caves are high and wide, 15-20ft high and about 20ft wide and most of the time you can see either the entrance or the exit of the cave.
If you are on the X-Stream Cave Tubing excursion you will stop inside one of the caves, get out of your tube and explore a dry cave inside the main cave. Many Mayan artifacts and bones have been found throughout Belize in the caves as they were sacred places.
As you continue along your Belize cave tubing excursion you will encounter incredible formation that take shape in the light that cascades through the crevasses of the cave. You will also experience small rapids that will guide you and your tube through the caves. Make sure to listen to your guide as he will explain what to do in areas that maybe a little shallower. As you exit the final cave once again into the sunlight you will get to continue down the river so a shallow area where you will have time for a final dip in the river.
Once you exit the river you will pick up your tube and carry it back to the parking area a 5 minute walk away.
If you were on the X-Stream Cave Tubing excursion you will return your tube, dry off and enjoy some fresh tropical fruit and bottled water.